June is National Employee Wellbeing Month – an opportunity for companies nationwide to implement, evaluate and refine their employee wellness programs. An estimated 70% of employers already offer wellness programs, and 8% more plan to do so during the next year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Employers are investing in wellness programs because these initiatives can support their employees’ desire to improve their health and create a happier, healthier workforce while reducing costs for employees and the company.
Some of these wellness programs give employees wearable devices at no additional charge, helping provide a more accurate and comprehensive summary of the user’s daily activity, sleep patterns and other health markers. Fitness trackers – usually small devices worn around the wrist or clipped onto clothing – give users a snapshot of actual physical activity.
Employers nationwide are expected to incorporate more than 13 million fitness tracking devices into their wellness programs by 2018, according to technology consultancy Endeavors Partners. That’s important, considering a study published in Science & Medicine showed people tend to overestimate how much exercise they get each week by more than 50 minutes, and they underestimate sedentary time by more than two hours. People who use wearable devices are better able to monitor and hold themselves accountable for their physical activity.